Shared Services and IT

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Shared Services and IT
Key Initiatives
Consulting Considerations
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Shared Services in the Federal Government, from an IT perspective

Shared services are being talked about a lot lately in the Canadian Federal Government, and to some extent most of the conversations revolve around Information Technology (IT). With that being said, it is sometimes difficult to clearly understand what shared services means, the ramifications of shared services initiatives, and how they might impact the consulting community.

In general, shared services arrangements are designed to achieve efficiencies by using a single organization to provide a service to multiple departments and agencies, (i.e., clients), rather than requiring each of them to have their own capacity to provide that service. In our Federal Government, shared services concepts have been prevalent for years. The conventional back-office centralized shared services exist in Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), which has had a long history in this area ranging from mainframe data centre support services, to telecommunications provisioning, to real property services, to leading edge concepts such as the evolving Secure Channel infrastructure project. Similarly, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has been providing central policy, budgets and expenditure management, and program planning support in a number of areas. There are also evolving shared services such as department cluster support for core corporate and administrative enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and even the potential for common business process support.

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